Easter Blessings

I’ll start by saying Happy Easter. That doesn’t begin to cover it. Thinking about all the things swirling in my head today, this could be a long blog post. Or, maybe I’ll try to keep it short and discuss in multiple posts. We’ll see how it goes. So bear with me.

4 years ago Michael was baptized in our church. It was less than a year after his accident that happened in July. He started going to AA as soon as he was well enough to be driven, but I don’t believe AA is what ultimately led him to the church. A higher power can be whatever you want it to be. I think people he met through AA helped him break through, but I truly, completely, passionately, believe God met him in his hospital room. I believe there were truly angels that saved him that night. One inch from a tree that would have caused his death upon impact. A nurse driving down the street who saw his crashed bike, but not him. She had a feeling and stopped, found him in the woods and began CPR while calling 911. This occurred on a road that at that time of night is usually deserted. His BAC being .378 and would’ve killed most other people. (And not to be picky about it, but it was .378 by the time they airlifted him to the hospital and they drew blood. I have to believe it was higher than that at the time of the crash)

But lets get back to church. He had been going to AA daily. They recommend 90 meetings in 90 days. He did 180 in 180. During that time, he discovered what has become our church home. He had never ever ever ever ever been religious before. He wanted nothing to do with organized religion. He was a self described atheist. Maybe something was out there but you couldn’t prove it, so its easier to not believe than to believe. Where’s the science? Where are the facts? The Bible is just a book written by people probably high on some local mushrooms and their visions were hallucinations. The Bible has been transcribed so many times, it has lost its original meaning. He had an answer for everything to not believe. Until he woke up from the accident in the hospital.

He says he had an encounter while he was there. Maybe he did. Maybe it was his head trauma. It doesn’t really matter, because to him, it was real and it was powerful. So he timidly brought up that maybe he would like to go to this church close to our house. We passed this church daily for years. He used to complain about the traffic. Now he wanted to go. But he wanted to go alone. That was fine. I sure didn’t think it would last. A few months later, he asked me to come with him. And I gladly accepted. He wanted to take a class about becoming full fledged members of the church. So we did. We met people who we still happily call our friends. We got involved and met more people. After much reflection, he told me he wanted to be baptized on Easter Sunday. The holiest of holy days. Significant. Impactful.

He was baptized that Easter Sunday in 2009. Since then, he has helped many, many others be baptized at our church. He has made friends who support and love him. He looks to one of our head pastors as his spiritual mentor. It’s truly a wonderful evolution for a man who didn’t believe in anything at all almost 5 years.

So Happy Easter to you all. And remember, Jesus is calling all of us all of the time. We just have to listen more than talk sometimes.

Someone left the pie out in the rain…..

Ha!! Ok ok, I know the lyrics are “Someone left the cake out in the rain…” But since I made pie, I thought I would change it up a bit.

I almost wish someone did leave the pie out in the rain. It was horrible. Like, icky!! I would throw it away except Michael assures me it isn’t as bad as I think. Well, it is. He’s just being nice.

He loves coconut cream pie. We even had that as our wedding “cake” alongside traditional wedding cake. I make one every year, at least once a year. It’s a nice pick me up for him if he’s having a bad day, or just to surprise him. But I usually make the same recipe, and ho hum, after 20 years, it could use a little shake up. So I found a new recipe and off I went. Well, sort of.

I don’t mind saying that I love to bake and I’m pretty good at it. I make a mean cheesecake, many favors, very yummy. I make them for friends and have taken to selling them too. So if you want a cheesecake, give me a shout. I can do cookies, cakes, fudge, caramel, truffles, petit fours, whatever. If it’s baking, I can do it. I enjoy it. It’s pretty therapeutic for me. Everything is precise to make it work properly and I love that. Cooking is a pinch of this, a dash of that, or the worse thing ever….”when it looks right” What the heck does that mean? How am I supposed to know what it looks like!???

So anyway, with my baking prowess ready to go, I jumped into the new recipe. It even involved a coconut crust instead of the usual pastry crust. While that was baking, I made the filling, some coconut, eggs, vanilla, cream, a few secret ingredients and voila, ready to pour into the crust. Except it didn’t seem thick enough. Hmmm. Well, into the fridge where I’m sure it will set up wonderfully.

As I got it out to serve, it still appeared wobbly, and not set. I managed to spread some whipped topping on it, still jiggly. I tried to cut it, and I knew instantly, this was going to be a disaster. The crust wouldn’t cut. Then it wouldn’t come out of the pie pan. Then the filling just oozed. Oozed everywhere. So now we have coconut crust stuck to the pie pan, oozing filling running everywhere, me yelling OH NO OH NO, OH NOOOO as it glopped onto the plate.

He still ate it. Said it tasted wonderful. Said it didn’t matter that it looked like some kind of runny pudding on a plate. That’s what a good husband would do. Not one comment negative. But I also learned a valuable lesson. If you have something that is tried and true, don’t mess with it. Just because something looks pretty and shiny and new, doesn’t mean that’s better than what you have and what you depend on. So keep the faded old recipe in favor of a new one. The new one isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

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Birthday or Anniversary?

Today is my husbands birthday. We joke that he’s now as old as I am every year, cuz my birthday is in January, so for 2 1/2 months he likes to act like I’m old. Ha! Now he’s as old as me!

Every birthday he has had in the past 5 years has been extra special to me. We almost lost him in 2008. Alcoholism almost claimed him. His fight with this was almost over forever. On one drunken night in May, he went out and bought a brand new, top of the line motorcycle. I was furious. Beyond furious. Not only could we not afford a motorcycle of that caliber, the last thing a drunk needs is to be on one. Motorcycles are fun, thrilling, exciting. I get that. But they are also dangerous. There is a saying that it’s not a matter of “if” you wreck one, but “when”. And how bad will it be.

I can’t remember now if I even made the first payment on it. I don’t think I did. But maybe. I guess it doesn’t matter, except that detail escaping me bothers me. But I do remember it was a Tuesday night in mid July. That is very clear. He had come home from work, and had been drinking. Said he was going to take the bike out for a ride around the neighborhood. And he was gone. Gone for hours. I paced. I worried. I called a friend. I paced some more. Then, the phone rang. The police department calling, wanting to know if I was home because an officer and a chaplain were en route to my house. I called my friend back and she and her husband were at my house in a flash. They pulled up almost the same time as the officer and chaplain. There had been an accident. He was pronounced dead at the scene. They somehow revived him and he was being airlifted to a local severe trauma center. Was there someone they could call for me? The chaplain said a prayer of comfort for me in the middle of my driveway sometime around midnight that Tuesday night.

My friend called my oldest son to come home from work and stay with his brother. There had been an accident. Rob came right away and we left. I can’t remember if we waited for him to get there or if we just left. I know my friends husband drove us and I remember feeling numb and hovering. You know that hovering feeling when you are above yourself, looking at yourself, things are moving soooo slowly and you can see what is happening but yet not be able to acknowledge anything? That was me, in the back of his car, driving to the hospital, not knowing what we would find when we got there. Would he be dead?

The police met us there and said he was alive but in a medically induced coma for now. He had a head trauma. He had crashed his bike not wearing a helmet. He hit a curb and flew into a local park where he missed hitting a tree full impact by one inch. One inch. But he still hit his head on impact with the ground. They took blood and his BAC was .378. The one police officer said he had personally never seen someone with that high of a limit and still be alive.

We sat there. Me, my friend and her husband. Just sat. There was nothing to say, nothing to do, nothing. We finally got back to see him. My friend told the nurse he wore contacts so the nurse could take them out. I wouldn’t have thought of that at all. My brain was spinning looking at him. Blood coming out of his ear. Cuts and scrapes and blood all over the top of his head. IV’s in his hand. Bandages across his ribs. Machines beeping and blinking. Tubes up his nose and across his face. What was this?? What is happening??? Floating above again. Looking down at 3 people in a hospital room looking at this poor mangled man. Nurses coming in and out.

He had to have surgery to repair his spleen which was lacerated in multiple places. He had several broken ribs. He had a broken scapula. He had bleeding on the brain and his brain was swollen, which is why he had blood coming out of his ear.

After 4 days in ICU, he was released. The bike was totaled. He had his arm in a sling for the scapula, tape around his ribs, and he was home to recover the rest of the way. He still can’t hear out of his ear, but the rest has healed. We joke about his spleen getting hurt if he wrestles with Ryan. For the most part, he is back to his old self. He has a lack of short term memory sometimes. I’m not sure if that’s from the accident or old age. But it has been there since the accident happened, so I chalk it up to that.

So today, on his birthday, I celebrate that he is still here. To be a father to our boys. To be a husband to me. Today is the 5th anniversary of his birthday post accident. Maybe he would like that more than saying he’s 46. I know I do. So happy birthday to you. I hope you’re around for a lot more.

And so it goes….

I couldn’t decide what to title this blog post. I couldn’t even write the past few weeks because I kept thinking I needed something insightful, or popular, or relevant, or now. But when I woke up this morning, I thought….this is MY blog and I can write about anything or nothing. I can sit here and write about the color of my underwear if I want to. (Bright pink today for anyone interested)

What really prompted me to write this today is that tomorrow is my husbands birthday. And you might think this is about his birthday, but it isn’t. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Because woaaaah baby, do we have a story to tell there. But instead, his birthday got me thinking that it’s almost the end of March. This is Spring Break week for Ryan. After this week, it will be April. APRIL!!! He gets out of school mid May. So you know what this means??? This means that my youngest son will be finished with his Freshman year of high school in mere weeks!! How can this be?? No, really, I want an answer, how can this be?????

It just makes my brain start working in over time. 3 years. So much will happen in the next 3 years. It goes by so fast. I wish I had a pause button sometimes. Or at least a slow-down button. When my oldest was in high school, it just seemed to pass with a blur. One minute he was a precious Freshman walking into his huge high school, the next thing I knew, I was ordering senior pictures, and a graduation cake, and moving him away to college. Boom, it was over.

And now, it feels like the same phenomenon is happening again. Moving too fast. Blink. One year is over. I mean, we have already scheduled classes for next year. We’re getting those blanket college inquiries. He’s going to have to start trying to decide what he wants to do, and if and where he wants to go to college. Of course, right now, he’s still the little kid who thinks he’ll be able to move into a mansion in West Palm Beach after graduation and he’ll join the NBA. The NBA part might be a joke, but not the West Palm part. Or South Beach. See?? He isn’t picky.

But that makes me realize that in 3 years, we can go south and get out of this cold weather hell. A condo on the water? Yep. Sign me up. Of course, that’s to say Michael doesn’t need to move sooner. Who knows what his job will bring. But at the very latest, 3 years from now, I’ll be packing and dealing with moving 900 miles away. Wow. In the meantime, I’ll just keep stressing out about how my baby is almost done with Freshman year. And how I can’t possibly be that old.

Beach time yet?

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So I woke up this morning thinking about the beach. This isn’t unusual, I think about the beach as often as most men think about sex. But today, I was thinking about how our trip down to our personal paradise wasn’t that far away. Well, it feels like it now when there is still talk of snow in our local forecast, but it isn’t so far away that plans aren’t being made and prepared for now.

We usually vacation over the 4th of July. I love to go to the beach and watch the fireworks over the ocean. It’s also a way to get another day of vacation time without taking a vacation day for my husband. The no-see-ums of August aren’t out yet, and the weather is hot! Perfect for getting up and exercising early in order to get some relaxing beach time in when it’s too sweltering to move in the mid afternoon hours.

But before I’m ready to head back down to my chair at the edge of the ocean, I need to lose what I gained over the winter. Doing yoga has made me a tad bit stronger, I feel it in my arms. I’m a bit more flexible than the 2×4 I was when I started. I’m more like a 2×2 now. But I need to start running again. I loved running last summer. Even when it was hot. Even when we had to get up so early to go just as the sun was coming up. I loved setting a new personal best on my time. I loved when other people could start to notice the changes. I loved the clothes. I loved the running community embracing a 40 something newbie and the encouragement I needed to keep going.

I’m hoping that combining my yoga with running, I’ll be beach ready soon. Maybe a new bathing suit will be in order, or at least a new pair of flip flops.

Jodi Arias

The trial is back on!! The trial is back on!!!! I can come out of my slump and look forward to Juan Martinez ripping Ms. Arias apart again. She’s had 5 days in her jail cell to determine how she’ll fend off the questions with more answers of “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know” or simply mocking the prosecutor as she likes to do.

I have been able to get stuff done around my house the past 5 days. Laundry has been laundered. Dishes have been washed. Floors have been Swiffered. It doesn’t resemble an entry for Hoarders anymore. I have caught up on what needs to be done, all in anticipation for todays show down.

I know I have spelled out my theory before of how this woman killed Travis, but I have yet to hear a different plausible explanation. And since Jodi has a scrambled brain and a foggy memory (her words) we may never know until after she’s convicted and she decides to come clean. And I think my theory makes sense. Trap him in the shower where he can not possibly escape. Start stabbing. But he was stronger than she anticipated, so he stumbles out after being stabbed 29 times, spitting up blood, trying to escape her. She keeps stabbing as he’s trying to get away. She slits his throat. Now he’s dead. She drags him back to the bathroom shower. Maybe he’s still making noises. Maybe she’s just intentionally cruel, but this is where she shoots him. In the head.

Her sense of being wronged, of being replaced, of being discarded, was so strong, so vindictive that I belive she still to this day feels completely justified in what she did. But today Juan will get another crack at her. And I can’t wait!!

But here’s where I’m conflicted. I want her to receive the death penalty. For what she did, she deserves it. But that triggers an automatic appeal. Which will cause the state more money. Cause Travis’ family more anguish. So would a life sentence be the better choice? It would still cost money to keep her in jail for the rest of her life. She’s young. She’ll live a long time on the taxpayer dime unless she gets shived in jail. But is that justice? She sure didn’t afford Travis that consideration.

Winters Death Grip

It’s snowing. Right now as I look out the window, it’s snowing. Now this isn’t something new for March in Ohio. We’ve had major snowstorms in April before. Easter egg hunts have been postponed because there was snow on the ground and the little darlings all dressed up in their finest wouldn’t be able to find one solitary chocolate egg. But this winter won’t seem to let go. It’s so cold and grey. Just when we get one nice day of sunshine and blue sky, winter comes back with a vengeance. It’s like punishment for the joy of spring. One nice day brings along 5 or 6 horrible ones.

I know spring will be truly be here next week, but winter doesn’t seem to want to let go. I’ve already heard we’re due for another major snowstorm next week. Well, that’s the prediction right now anyway. It will change and the amount will be far less by then. The 8 inches of snow will really be 3, or not even snow at all and come in all rain instead. But the fact that a “major snowstorm” is still heading our way makes me cringe.

I want my flowers blooming, I want buds on the trees! I want the buds on the trees turning to flowers!! I’ve never really been affected by SADD, but I can totally understand people who are. Winter in Ohio is the worst! Soon, everyone will be asking me if I’m happy for the summer heat, and my answer will be a resounding YES!!!!! Yes yes yes!!! I want to be outside without freezing. I want to sit around a campfire. I want to feel the water from the ocean. Yes, I even want to feel like my face is melting off from the heat inside my car after sitting in the sun for hours.

Wow, that’s a lot of “I want” statements! lol!! Well, maybe until this weather turns around, everyone should just call me Veruca.